Pirates win District opener
The Prairie Lady Pirates had little trouble winning their long-delayed District Tournament opener as they defeated Kendrick 14-4 Thursday, May 12 at Cottonwood.
The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, May 7 but rain pushed the whole tournament back several days.
The win put Prairie into the championship game on Saturday, May 14.
Prairie took the lead in the first inning without benefit of a hit. Ashley Schaeffer was hit by the second pitch she saw and went to second on a wild pitch. After two were put out, Natalie Arnzen was hit by a pitch and then Kylie Uhlorn’s fly ball to right center was dropped by the centerfielder for a 2-base error with Schaeffer scoring. Arnzen might have scored on the play as well but stopped halfway to home and then had to scramble to get back to third. A strikeout then ended the inning.
Prairie took control in the second with 5 runs on just 2 hits.
Kim Schaeffer walked leading off the inning and Lindsey Crea, in her first action back with the team after an illness, hit the first pitch she saw into left for the first hit of the game.
Brooke Holthaus then laid down a sacrifice bunt and reached when the pitcher fielded the ball but couldn’t make a decision where to throw the ball. That loaded the bases.
Ashley Schaeffer then drew a walk to force home a run and Tiffany Schaeffer pounded a line drive to left that the fielder couldn’t quite reach for a 2-run double. Holthaus also scored on the play when the catcher dropped the throw.
After an out, Arnzen drove in Ashley Schaeffer with a groundout to short. Kylie Uhlorn then walked and she and Tiffany Schaeffer pulled off a delayed double steal with Tiffany scoring to make it 6-0.
Kendrick got on the board in the third inning thanks to a hit batter, stolen base and two wild pitches.
Prairie answered in the bottom of the third with a pair of runs. Brooke Holthaus singled up the middle with 1 out, stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. Ashley Schaeffer then walked and stole second.
After the second out was made, Meghan VanderPas singled down the left field line to score both runners. She made it to second when the left fielder bobbled the ball then went to third on a wild pitch. She tried to score on another wild pitch but was called out at the plate.
Kendrick plated another run in the fourth on a walk and a double. The double was Kendrick’s first hit of the game.
Prairie answered back with 4 more runs to take a 12-2 lead. Uhlorn led off the inning with a single to left and Alli Holthaus was hit by a pitch. After an out, Crea was walked to load the bases.
Brooke Holthaus then popped up toward third with the infield fly being called. She was out but when the third baseman dropped the pop-up, Uhlorn was able to score from third.
Ashley Schaeffer then hit a triple to deep right center to score both remaining runners and came around to score as well when the throw to third got by the fielder.
Kendrick was able to score 2 runs in the top of the fifth, which forced Prairie to come to bat in the bottom of the inning.
VanderPas, who had tossed a 1-hitter to that point got a little wild, walking 4 batters in the inning, which along with an error and several wild pitches allowed Kendrick to score their two runs.
The damage could’ve been worse but for a rare catcher to first to right to short caught stealing. Ashley Schaeffer’s pickoff throw got past her sister Kim Schaeffer into right field but Tiffany Schaeffer backed up the play and threw out the runner at second.
In the bottom of the fifth Prairie needed just 3 batters to get the 2 runs needed to end the game on the 10-run mercy rule.
VanderPas walked to lead off the inning but was forced at second by Arnzen.
Carolyn Sonnen then pinchhit for Uhlorn and worked a 3-2 count before slicing a ball over the first baseman’s head down the line. The ball landed right on the foul line about 20 feet behind first and rolled all the way to the gate in the corner. Sonnen was halfway to third before the rightfielder retrieved the ball and threw it back in. She scored easily for a 2-run game-ending inside-the-park homer.
A defensive play of note for the Pirates earlier in the game ended the second inning. With a runner on second and one out the Kendrick batter grounded to shortstop Arnzen who threw the batter out at first. Kim Schaeffer then gunned the ball back across the diamond to third where Alli Holthaus tagged the runner coming from second for an inning-ending double play.
VanderPas allowed just 2 hits in the game and struck out 8 batters. She walked 8 and hit 2 batters.
Prairie had 7 hits by 7 different players. Sonnen had a homer and Ashley Schaeffer a triple. Tiffany Schaeffer had a double and VanderPas, Crea, Uhlorn and Brooke Holthaus each had a single.
Kendrick 0 0 1 1 2— 4 2 5
Prairie 1 5 2 4 2—14 7 1
Lady Pirates fall in championship game
Untimely errors and failure to capitalize on opportunities led to a loss for the Lady Pirates in the District Championship game 3-4 to Culdesac Saturday, May 14 at Cottonwood.
The game started well as Meghan VanderPas set the Wolves down in order in the first inning. Prairie then came to bat in the bottom of the inning and quickly loaded the bases with nobody out. Ashley Schaeffer walked, Tiffany Schaeffer was hit by a pitch and VanderPas was walked. After two outs Alli Holthaus singled up the middle to score Ashley Schaeffer and Kim Schaeffer walked to bring home Tiffany Schaeffer for a 2-0 Prairie lead.
Culdesac answered in the top of the second though as the leadoff hitter reached on an error and stole second. The next hitter singled to left to put runners on first and third and then stole second. After a strikeout, a comebacker to the mound scored the first run with VanderPas tossing to first for the out. A wild pitch then tied the game.
From then on it was missed opportunities for Prairie. They had 2 runners on with just 1 out in the third and couldn’t score.
They put 3 hits together in the fifth and couldn’t score. Natalie Arnzen reached on a 1-out infield single and Kylie Uhlorn followed with a single up the middle. Alli Holthaus followed with a single to left but Arnzen was called out at the plate.
Culdesac meanwhile took the lead in the fourth inning with a 2-out rally. After 2 groundouts to third Culdesac got a double and 2 walks to load the bases. An attempted pickoff try at third got away with the go-ahead run scoring.
Culdesac padded their lead in the sixth as the leadoff hitter was hit by a pitch and wild pitched over to third. A walk followed but Natalie Arnzen turned in a double play. She caught a soft fly at short and doubled the runner off second. A single to right followed to score the runner from third for a 2-4 Culdesac lead.
Prairie picked up a run in the seventh as VanderPas tripled over the head of the centerfielder and scored on Arnzen’s groundout to third. A strikeout then ended the game.
Prairie had 5 hits in the game, a triple by VanderPas, 2 singles by Alli Holthaus and a single each by Uhlorn and Arnzen.
VanderPas allowed 6 hits and only 1 earned run while walking 6 and hitting 1 batter with 3 strikeouts.
Culdesac 0 2 0 1 0 1 0—4 6 0
Prairie 2 0 0 0 0 0 1—3 5 3
Lady Pirates earn trip to State
The Prairie Lady Pirates earned a trip to state by beating Kendrick 13-3 in the second place game of the district tournament Saturday, May 14 at Cottonwood.
They bounced back from a tough loss to Culdesac in the championship game with a 5-run first inning and went on to win easily.
Kendrick had pulled off the upset of the tournament the night before when they eliminated third seeded Lewis County 9-4 on Friday.
Ashley Schaeffer reached on an error to lead off the first and Tiffany Schaeffer followed with a bunt single. Meghan VanderPas singled up the middle to score Ashley and Natalie Arnzen blooped a double to left to scored Tiffany.
VanderPas came home on a wild pitch.
After an out, Alli Holthaus walked and Kim Schaeffer singled to left to score Arnzen.
Lindsey Crea followed with a single to score Holthaus.
Kendrick got back into the game with 3 runs in the second inning on a hit batsman, walk, 2 singles and an error.
Prairie pushed the lead back to 4 though with 2 runs in the bottom of the second.
Ashley Schaeffer was walked leading off the inning and sacrificed to second by Tiffany Schaeffer. VanderPas then tripled to the right centerfield gap and came in to score on a wild pitch to make it 7-3.
After the rocky second inning, VanderPas shut out the Tigers the rest of the way. She got out of a jam in the third third where Kendrick had runners on second and third with only 1 out by striking out the next two hitters.
Kendrick had another threat in the fourth when a hitter reached on an error but a groundout to third and a strikeout ended the inning.
Kendrick also had a runner single in the fifth with one out but she took off running for second on an infield popup and after catching the ball, second baseman Brooke Holthaus easily completed the double play by tossing the ball to Tiffany Schaeffer at first.
Prairie meanwhile added 4 more runs in the third inning.
Crea drew a 1-out walk and Brooke Holthaus followed with a single up the middle. After a wild pitch advanced both runners, Ashley Schaeffer singled to left to score Crea. After Ashley stole second, VanderPas hit a 2-out single to drive home both runners and advanced all the way to third as Kendrick fumbled away a couple of throws. Arnzen then singled to score VanderPas.
In the fifth Prairie needed 2 runs to end the game on the 10-run mercy rule. Brooke Holthaus led off with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Ashley Schaeffer followed with a single to center that scored Holthaus and went all the way to third on a 2-base error by the centerfielder.
Carolyn Sonnen then pinch-hit for Tiffany Schaeffer and for the second time in 3 days against Kendrick, got the game-ending RBI. This time all it took was a single to score Ashley from third.
Prairie had 15 hits in the game led by VanderPas who had a triple and 2 singles. Arnzen had a double and single and Ashley Schaeffer and Brooke Holthaus each had 2 singles. Tiffany Schaeffer, Sonnen, Kylie Uhlorn, Alli Holthaus, Kim Schaeffer and Crea each added a single.
VanderPas allowed just 3 hits with 3 walks and 2 hit batters while striking out 7.
Prairie will take a 15-8 record into the state tournament which takes place at Lewiston this Friday and Saturday.
Kendrick 0 3 0 0 0— 3 3 3
Prairie 5 2 4 0 2—13 15 2
Lady Pirates to play at noon Friday
The Prairie softball team will open state play Friday, May 20 at noon against Wilder.
They will play again right afterwards against Greenleaf Friends at 2 p.m.
They will play Culdesac at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 21.
After the round-robin play is completed the 2 teams with the best records will play at 4 p.m. for the state championship while the other two teams will play at 2 p.m. for third place.
All games will be at Lewiston’s Sunset Park.
21-State--Play at 10 a.m. vs. Culdesac. 3rd place game is 2 p.m. and championship game is 4 p.m.